Hire a temporary foreign worker through the Recognized Employer Pilot: Wages, working conditions and occupations

Job Bank wage update

Job Bank wages are updated every year in the fall. The 2023 update took place on November 29, 2023.

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Wages offered to temporary foreign workers (TFWs) should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience.

For the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP), you must pay the prevailing wage, which is defined as the highest of either:

  • the regional median hourly wage posted on Job Bank, or
  • the wage that’s within the wage range that you’re paying your current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience

For positions in primary agriculture (including the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, agricultural, high-wage and low-wage streams), employers must ensure that the prevailing wages meet or exceed the wage rates outlined in the National Commodities List (NCL) wage tables, or applicable federal/provincial/territorial minimum wage rates, whichever is higher.

To determine the median wage on Job Bank:

  • go to Compare wages on Job Bank
  • in the “Job search” field, enter the job title or the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code (2021 version) that best describes the duties and requirements of the position
  • the hourly median wage will be listed in the middle column, by community or area. If the median wage is listed as "N/A," consult the provincial or territorial wage. If it isn’t available, consult the national wage

If the position requires additional skills and years of experience over the applicable NOC description, the wages offered should reflect these additional requirements.

When determining the wage rate being offered, we’ll only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

  • overtime hours
  • tips
  • benefits
  • profit sharing
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • other forms of compensation

Employers who hire TFWs for unionized positions must offer the same wage rates and forms of compensation as those under the collective agreement.

Variations to the wage requirements

In certain circumstances, industry-specific wage rates have been identified and are considered as the prevailing wage rate during the assessment of the application. For more information, visit Variations to the wage requirements.

Employers offering a wage that’s below the prevailing wage rate will be considered as not meeting the labour market factor for the assessment of wages. Therefore, they’ll receive a negative Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Prevailing wage reviews

For LMIA applications submitted as of January 1, 2024, employers are required to update the wages of TFWs to reflect the prevailing wage. This wage review, as part of the LMIA and employment agreement, ensures that TFWs are paid the prevailing wage at the start of and throughout their employment period.

Regardless of the wage indicated on the LMIA application, employers are required to reassess and apply the prevailing wage at the beginning of a TFW’s period of employment. The prevailing wage must be reviewed annually using updated wages posted on Job Bank (if applicable). Because Job Bank wages are updated yearly in the fall, employers have until January 1 of the following year to do their review.

The updated wage can never go below the wage identified in the positive LMIA at any time during a TFW’s employment period, even if the prevailing wage decreases.

If you’re hiring TFWs in Quebec, consult the wage table provided by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) (French only).

Employers who don’t update wages accordingly may be subject to sanctions under the TFW Program’s employer compliance regime including administrative monetary penalties and bans from using the program.

You don’t need to report a wage modification to Service Canada if it meets the prevailing wage. Consult Modification to a positive LMIA to determine when a change requires contacting the Employer Contact Centre or submitting a new LMIA application.

Job duties and working conditions

The TFWs you hired through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must only perform duties that correspond to the occupation they were hired for.

Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including TFWs. The exploitation of TFWs is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.

Employers must:

  • pay TFWs for all work (including overtime, where required by law)
  • provide workplace safety insurance
  • offer TFWs the same benefits as other workers, and
  • not take the TFWs’ identification

Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial or territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards, such as:

  • hours of work
  • working conditions, and
  • termination of employment

In fact, every province or territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and TFWs with questions or issues related to work.

Note: Some employers are federally regulated and, therefore, are covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.

Phase 1 occupations list

Starting September 2023, applications will be accepted for positions on Service Canada's Phase 1 REP occupations list. These occupations have been determined to be in-demand and to have an insufficient domestic labour supply.

NOC code 2021 Occupation
85100 Livestock labourers
85101 Harvesting labourers
84120 Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
85103 Nursery and greenhouse labourers

Phase 2 occupations list

Starting January 2024, applications will be accepted for positions on Service Canada's Phase 2 REP occupations list. These occupations have been determined to be in-demand and to have an insufficient domestic labour supply.

List of NOC codes
NOC code 2021 Occupation
20010 Engineering managers
20011 Architecture and science managers
21321 Industrial and manufacturing engineers
21322 Metallurgical and materials engineers
21200 Architects
21201 Landscape architects
21202 Urban and land use planners
21203 Land surveyors
31300 Nursing coordinators and supervisors
31301 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
31100 Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
31101 Specialists in surgery
31102 General practitioners and family physicians
31103 Veterinarians
31111 Optometrists
31201 Chiropractors
31209 Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
31121 Dieticians and nutritionists
31112 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
31202 Physiotherapists
32109 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
31203 Occupational therapists
31204 Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment
32120 Medical laboratory technologists
33101 Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations
31303 Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
32104 Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians
32103 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
32121 Medical radiation technologists
32122 Medical sonographers
32110 Denturists
32111 Dental hygienists and dental therapists
32112 Dental technologists and technicians
33100 Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants
32101 Licensed practical nurses
32102 Paramedical occupations
33102 Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
33103 Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
33109 Other assisting occupations in support of health services
31200 Psychologists
41301 Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies
41310 Police investigators and other investigative occupations
44101 Home support workers, caregivers and related occupations
65310 Light-duty cleaners
63100 Insurance agents and brokers
62020 Food service supervisors
62200 Chefs
63200 Cooks
63201 Butchers – Retail and wholesale
65202 Meat cutters and fishmongers – Retail and wholesale
64100 Retail salespersons and visual merchandisers
65200 Food and beverage servers
65201 Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
72106 Welders and related machine operators
72310 Carpenters
72311 Cabinetmakers
72400 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
72402 Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
72405 Machine fitters
72406 Elevator constructors and mechanics
72420 Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics
72421 Appliance servicers and repairers
72422 Electrical mechanics
72423 Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics
72429 Other small engine and small equipment repairers
73200 Residential and commercial installers and servicers
73300 Transport truck drivers
85100 Livestock labourers
85101 Harvesting labourers
84120 Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
85103 Nursery and greenhouse labourers
85102 Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers
85120 Logging and forestry labourers
94141 Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
94142 Fish and seafood plant workers
94210 Furniture and fixture assemblers, finishers, refinishers and inspectors
94211 Assemblers and inspectors of other wood products
95100 Labourers in mineral and metal processing
95101 Labourers in metal fabrication
95102 Labourers in chemical products processing and utilities
95103 Labourers in wood, pulp and paper processing
95104 Labourers in rubber and plastic products manufacturing
95106 Labourers in food and beverage processing
95107 Labourers in fish and seafood processing

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